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Curbing pandemic-driven drinking as you return to work in person

Posted at 5:34 AM, Sep 08, 2021

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The coronavirus pandemic has driven people from their workplace, isolated them inside their homes, and increased stress for them for more than a year and a half, and, in response, multiple studies have shown that alcohol consumption has risen significantly.

An American Psychological Association study found one in four Americans used alcohol to deal with pandemic stress, and a study from the American Addiction Centers found that during the lockdown in Nevada 40% of workers were consuming alcohol at home during work hours.

RELATED: Quarantine can spark new addictions, trigger old ones

To break the cycle of comfort drinking as many people return to working in person, Recovery Manager Adam Jablin said people often can't overcome an emerging or ongoing addiction without replacing the behavior with some other coping mechanism.

Jablin said people shouldn't replace alcohol consumption with something else unhealthy like binge eating, and, instead, find healthy practices like exercise, long walks, or something as simple as writing in a journal.

"This is a form of self-care," he said. "You're already doing self-care in your own way, which is drinking, right? So it's a different form of self-care. You know, mind, body, spirit. Start taking care of yourself internally and you'll start making better choices and better behaviors."

Jablin said every case is different, and often these are addiction issues that existed before the pandemic but got worse with stress and isolation.

He said, if that's the case, people should take a hard look inside themselves, be courageous, and ask someone for help.

Jablin said that could include seeking professional help if the drinking problem is one that can't be managed with support from family and friends.